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Down Griffon


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Hi RP and Rosco, here's my humble opinion............If the news story is current and relevant to the Canadian Helicopter industry and is only a link (not the full story), I don't think most guys would object.

A full transcript of the latest R22 accident in Mozambique might be beyond this definition.


News stories in topics such as this one about the Griffon accident are very useful.

They provide information that is usually quite accurate. This forum has been known to wander into some incorrect and very disappointing speculation sometimes, usually when facts aren't available.


(RP, don't be too shy about coming back, lots of guys have sworn to never talk to us again, but they've all come back. We're all one big happy heli family here, a little dysfunctional like most families, but we love you anyway, even if there is a striking resemblence between your photo and Downwash's!!! Are you his Dad??).

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The maintenance on military aircraft is generally very good. This particular instance was related to dirty blades thus preventing proper visual inspection. Silly way to learn that one must keep their gear clean but lesson learned and not soon to be forgotten.


We lost a Twin Huey (B212) in 1987 but that was a tail rotor yoke that cracked from metal fatigue and half the t/r departed the aircraft. Very bad deal, four dead.


As for the Cormorant, it's maintained by a civilian contractor as most of the routine maintenance on the Sea King replacement will likely be. Maintenance practices are often different between civilian life and DND but I for one have usually only been impressed by the wrenches on civvy street. I personally feel our military maintenance is labour intensive but that is not slag our boys, they work their buns off.


I am always amazed at how we (DND) manage to deploy something like a Sea King with eleven techs when our civilian peers will manage just as much flight ops with one or two AMEs? Once again, I'm just a driver and it perplexes me but both systems do work and I have great respect for anyone who fixes something I strap to my ponderous rear and take up into the wild blue. :up:


Now for the latest Griffon in Goose. Apparently the aircraft was doing a hoist training scenario when they suddenly lost power and could not maintain flight. It appears, still speculative, that they simply fell out of their hover with the non flying pilot getting a distress call out to Goose tower. The only visible damage I have heard about so far is a cracked windshield but since it was a rather firm landing I would not be surprised to hear that the skids spread a bit :wacko:

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Good point Vortex Ring. As I said, the blade in question had soot, grease, and soap in it, so it's not like the crack developed on that flight.


The picture in donnybrook's link shows a dirty Griffon with a happy face drawn in the soot. Since these things rarely fly, and the wx in Goose isn't that cold yet, I would think someone would have the time to give these things a bath? Maybe they haven't learned the lesson after all.

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Seems to be that the last year there have sure been fare number of mechanical mailfunctions in aircraft or is it just me? Scares the **** out of a guy to here

that a helicopter just fell from the sky and the cause is unknown, As pilots we always want to know right now what happened so it doesnt happen to us or at least try to prevent it.

I was out at the Bonaparte fire when the 204 went down. Its one thing when guys are being cowboys and crashing. (Not that that is acceptable). But it just seems we are having a run of mechanical defaults. :shock:

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Vortex, I'm not surprised that you are "amazed" that it takes "eleven techs" that "work their buns off" and yet "dirty blades thus preventing proper visual inspection" are the fatal result.


I wouldn't be amazed, I'd be scared. There is something wrong with the system.


Yet, as CTD notes, the tail boom in the recent incident hasn't been washed in a long time, and with the black painted tail-blades it's hard to see how long it has been since they were washed either.

Why are they painted black?? So the taxpayers don't notice the dirt ??

Surely this black paint doesn't help with a "proper visual inspection" either.


From a fellow pilot.......please watch your "ponderous rear".

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Good point about the 'mechanical' incidents lately Firehawk.

It does appear that way sometimes. We seem to keep losing very good people in this cruel business.

As we slowly drag ourselves away from "bush" flying methods and get a bit more "professional" by saying 'NO' when we should, there will hopefully be less pilot-induced incidents.

Therefore, that means the percentage of mechanical-caused incidents will increase, in relation to the total. (Hopefully the manufacturers and component overhaul shops can keep ahead of this. Thanks to them, our aircraft are a lot more reliable than they were 20 or 40 years ago).

CTD, or anyone, do you have the statistics on this apparent percentage increase in mechanical incidents, or are we just feeling it as we lose more friends??


Aside from the tragic losses of Ben at Bonaparte and the two Airspray tanker pilots in Cranbrook, the big B.C. fire-flap seemed to have relatively few incidents. This 'appears' to prove your point Firehawk, and makes their deaths even sadder. Who knows what the statistics will say.

What is known is that some families lost some Dads, and we lost some buddies, let's never forget them.

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Donnybrook, you asked the politbureau to "buy new helicopters" ????????????????????


The Griffon in this incident and photo is only a few years old. It just looks ancient.


If it didn't have the poor maintenance system (mentioned above), or was maintained as well as an old civilian ship (mentioned above), or was maintained by a private contractor to the DND (mentioned above), it wouldn't look so old.


I agree the Navy needs Seaking replacements, but one of the reasons to spend billions on new helicopters should not be because the others are dirty.

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